Manual Lymph Drainage
Lymphatic massage is very gentle, calming, and relaxing by using rhythmic strokes and pumping movements towards the direction of your lymph nodes and pathways designed to increasing the movement of your lymph and fluid between your cells. The specialized technique is called manual lymph drainage (MLD) and was developed by Dr. Emil and Estrid Vodder in the 1930’s.
* Not all therapists are qualified or trained to provide this service.
Depending on your needs, look for:
Certified Manual Lymph Drainage Therapist (CMLDT)
Complete Decongestion Therapy (CDT) - CLT-LANA (Certified Lymphedema Therapist, Lymphology Association of North America)
The lymph system helps to absorb proteins, fats, and vitamins, filter cells and fluid then return it to your cardiovascular system, and support the immune system. You can think of it as an aquarium and when the fluid in your aquarium becomes too stagnant, it allows wastes and other materials to build up and impede effective fluid flow and nutrient absorption.
Keeping your lymph system healthy helps your body defend against disease and infection. It will give the immune system a boost and can aid in any cleansing program. It calms the inflammatory response and supports the body’s own mechanism to detoxify. MLD helps the body to recover faster by stimulating the immune and drainage mechanisms. Through the pumping and stretching effect on the lymph vessels, MLD makes lymph flow faster and also stimulates the formation of new connections between lymph vessels.
Why you should consider MLD?
It can be effective for many conditions including:
Stress Reduction/Anxiety Sprains, Strains, & Bruises
Post Surgical Swelling Arthritis
Acne/Eczema Pain Relief
Immune system support Athletic recovery (ie. marathon)
Fibrocystic breast disease Burns & Scars
Pregnancy edema Certain autoimmune diseases
Chronic fatigue syndrome Tension & Migraine Headaches
Tinnitus Lyme disease
Chronic Venous Insufficiency (varicose veins) & tired legs
Lymphedema* (does not include complicated lymphedema conditions)
MLD is highly effective in reducing swelling, bruising, and pain as well as accelerating recovery time before and after orthopedic, cosmetic, and most other surgical procedures.
Orthopedic surgeries - joint replacements, joint reconstructions/repairs, etc.
Cosmetic surgeries - tummy tuck, liposuction, face lift, breast augmentation/reduction/reconstruction, Brazilian butt lift, face lift, etc.
Specific benefits of MLD for cosmetic surgery:
- Bruising reduction: accelerated healing of bruises allowing earlier return to normal activities without
hiding the bruising
- Edema reduction: MLD assists rerouting of lymph fluid to viable pathways unaffected by surgery
allowing accelerated edema reduction
- Pain management: Reduces pain by decreasing swelling and pressure allowing for less pain
- Scar tissue reduction: Reduces the scarring process by moving fluid that would potentially otherwise
buildup and contribute to scar formation
- Infection prevention: Reduces stagnating lymph which can lead to infection and additional
medications or procedures
MLD about 1 week prior to your surgery to support the immune system and control swelling.
MLD starting about 72 hours after surgery if cleared by your physician. (No fever, complications, or medicine conflicts) Ideally, permission from your physician to remove compression garments for the treatments is best for hand contact but the treatment can be done over the garments.
Continue MLD 2-3 times per week during the initial healing phase.
Gradually move to a maintenance regiment to once a week, once a month, or once a quarter.
Links for additional information:
Plastic Surgeon Dr. Rademaker video on MLD benefits
MANUAL LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE TECHNIQUES REDUCES POSTOPERATIVE FACIAL SWELLING AFTER THIRD MOLAR SURGERY
Obesity and Obesity Related Lymphedema and Lipedema